Posted December 28, 2016

Social media is a great tool for interacting with your customers, but it’s also valuable as an employee communication platform. Using social media for benefits communication provides a quick and easy way for employees to learn more about their benefits.

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Posted December 21, 2016

There are all sorts of issues that can slow you down and have little to do with your physical health. Grief, marital issues, depression and substance abuse are just a few things you might be facing that aren’t necessarily covered by your health insurance. And when you bring those issues with you to work, they can affect your productivity and work quality.

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Posted December 14, 2016

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) first began annual surveys of HR professionals back in l996 to find out what benefits organizations offer employees. To see how employee perks have evolved over time, the latest SHRM Employee Benefits Report, which queried almost 3,500 HR pros about 300 benefits, compared the 2016 findings with 1996 data and also to information collected in the past 5 years.

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Posted December 7, 2016

Based on a growing body of research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that type 2 diabetes can be prevented and prediabetes can be reversed with CDC-recognized diabetes prevention programs. This is important news for employers because incorporating proven diabetes prevention programs into company wellness initiatives could potentially be a cost-saving strategy, in addition to improving workers’ health.

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Posted September 28, 2016

Early in her career, Lisa Martin says, she was trying so hard to earn her keep and prove herself that she often gave up her allotted vacation, personal sick time and sometimes even lunch hours. One year, she ended up leaving an entire week and a half on the table, and only about 3 of those days rolled over into the next year.

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Posted September 21, 2016

Smartphones are an integral part of life for millions of us, but there can be a downside. It’s not unusual for some people to compulsively check their phones countless times at work, while on vacation and even if they wake up at night. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that about half of U.S. smartphone owners check their devices multiple times every hour, and 11% said they need to check their phones every few minutes.

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Posted September 14, 2016

The term burnout which describes a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, is most often associated with a person’s job — but there may be another work-related trigger. A 2015 study from the University of Montreal found that workers who commute to their workplace every day, especially if the trip between home and the office is longer than 20 minutes, can have an increased risk for burnout.

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Posted September 7, 2016

At some point in their lives, about 80% of Americans suffer from back pain, most often in the lower back, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers help most people get over a bout of back strain and muscle aches. But for about 20%, the condition becomes chronic — which the NINDS defines as low back pain that persists for 12 weeks or longer after treatment.

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Posted August 31, 2016

We’ve all heard people talk about being stressed out and most of us acknowledge feeling that way from time to time. Up to a point, stress is a normal part of life. But when stress becomes chronic, it can contribute to and even cause a host of health problems. In some situations stress can be an appropriate and even lifesaving response to events, according to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). For example, if you are faced with a car accident up ahead and have to quickly swerve to miss it, your body releases chemicals and hormones causing your pulse to quicken. You breathe faster, your muscles tense and your blood pressure goes up, too. Your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity so you react as fast as possible, with every part of your being aimed at survival.

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Posted August 24, 2016

You’ve heard about accidents that happened when ?a driver was distracted by texting or yakking away ?on a cell phone. But you may be convinced this could never happen to you because you are great at multitasking on your phone while watching the road.

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Posted August 17, 2016

Social media is now a part of daily life for the majority of Americans — and it’s becoming an important tool for human resource professionals searching for job candidates. New research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 84% of organizations are using social media for recruitment and another 9% plan to do so in the near future.

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Posted August 10, 2016

Depression, a complex condition marked by changes in thinking, mood or behavior, is 1 of the most common mental disorders in the U.S., affecting people of all ages and socioeconomic groups. It is known to reduce worker productivity but the symptoms of depression aren’t always recognized, much less treated.

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Posted August 3, 2016

Despite an abundance of evidence that regular exercise is important for good health, countless Americans are still too sedentary. In fact, about 50% of full-time employees in the U.S. don’t exercise through wellness programs at work — or anyplace else — according to a new survey of 617 full-time employees across the U.S., sponsored by Flex+Strategy Group & Work+Life Fit Inc.

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Posted July 27, 2016

As recovery from the Great Recession strengthened job markets, employers began turning their attention to factors that attract and retain employees. Thanks to a relatively stable economy during the past several years, many organizations have been able to offer or reintroduce perks and incentives for workers that had been cut or reduced during the economic downturn from 2007 to 2009.

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Posted July 20, 2016

When it comes to cookouts and other summer get-togethers, it’s hard to resist not-so-healthy food choices such as burgers, fries and milkshakes. But there’s a way to enjoy summer treats while eating food that is not only delicious but could help you lose or maintain weight and even boost your health.

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Posted July 13, 2016

In an age where technology provides a near-instant connection to all kinds of information, it’s still not easy for many people to quickly access their medical records. By 2013, almost 80% of office-based health care providers were using electronic health record (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) systems. But sharing these electronic records with patients in a convenient format has a long way to go, according to a March 2016 survey from HealthMine, a health care technology company.

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Posted July 6, 2016

Promoting smoking cessation, exercise and weight loss if needed are all well-known strategies that can improve employee health and, in turn, absenteeism, disability and health care costs. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released earlier this year concludes it’s time to encourage people to consume less salt (sodium chloride).

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Posted March 23, 2016

Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million adults in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) — and they can have a major impact on the workplace. Research from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) found employees suffering from anxiety can be less productive. They may turn down promotions, or avoid staff events or meetings with coworkers because of their condition, too.

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Posted March 16, 2016

Advances in technology have made it easier than ever to manage your HR needs with integrated software platforms, mobile apps, expanded cloud storage and other developments. New technologies allow large companies to easily control costs and manage large amounts of data, and for smaller companies to recruit and retain employees more efficiently so they can grow.

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Posted March 9, 2016

Employees who miss work due to illness or stay on the job while sick and unable to work productively take an enormous economic toll on organizations. But on-site clinics could make a dramatic difference in both workers’ health and the bottom line of many companies.

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Posted March 2, 2016

Having comprehensive workplace wellness programs (CWWPs) in place doesn’t mean the programs are necessarily effective in improving employees’ cardiovascular status. Although a 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found a substantial majority of employers (77%) offer wellness programs, many CWWPs don’t adequately track and evaluate heart health, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

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Posted February 1, 2016

Human resources professionals are often called upon to deliver information to employees at all levels of their organizations. Whether it’s a serious message or something less important, poor employee communication can lead to people missing out on benefits they could use, company programs or extracurriculars they would have enjoyed, policies they must follow or other essential news about the organization.

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Posted September 18, 2015

It's no secret that employers' medical costs are increasing. In 2011, average annual premiums for family plans rose 9%, to $15,073, and average premiums for single coverage climbed 8%, to $5,429, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Premiums for family plans have more than doubled since 2001, the foundation noted. Several factors are contributing to the surge in health care costs, including advances in medical technology, administrative expenses and the increasing incidence of chronic illnesses.

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Posted September 10, 2015

Far too often, workers leave benefits presentations with a glazed look in their eye – they’ve clearly been hit with far more information than they can handle. That often happens at open enrollment or when an employee first becomes eligible for benefits. Hearing about the health, dental and vision plans, as well as the 401(k), voluntary benefits and all their various options at one time is overwhelming, especially for a layperson who doesn’t work in human resources. Often they pick and choose off the menu and then just stop thinking about it, possibly never taking advantage of all that their benefits can offer. It’s better if they know they can come to the HR team anytime with any questions or concerns. It’s best if you go to them year round as well. Here are five ways to continue your benefits communications throughout the year.

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Posted November 18, 2015

More employers are turning to workplace wellness programs to help control employee benefits costs and as an additional benefit to help attract and retain top employees. Industry research suggests that such investments can pay off handsomely for employers – but only if organizations are smart about how they execute their wellness initiatives.

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Posted September 1, 2015

Do you offer a wellness program as one of your organization’s employee benefits?

According to the RAND Workplace Wellness Employer Survey, about half of all U.S. employers offer some kind of wellness program. It’s not a surprise; encouraging your employees to participate in a company-sponsored wellness program can pay off. The survey found 61 percent of employers reported decreased medical costs as a result of employee participation in wellness programs, while 78 percent reported reduced absenteeism and 80 percent said productivity increased.

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